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July 10th, 2012
MuchMusic and RapCity are proud to support this summer’s UNITY events taking place at Yonge and Dundas Square on July 14. Hosted by RapCity’s T-RexXx, the event will feature performances from dancers, beatboxers, spoken word artists and more. Each week this month we’ll feature one of UNITY’s many talented artists. This week we shine the spotlight on spoken word artist Lishai.
UNITY Charity is an Arts Based Alternative Education Organization. UNITY engages youth 10 to 18 by implementing school and community programs helping youth positively express their stress and develop skills for success. UNITY empowers youth to make better choices as leaders, mentors and positive community role models leading to more productive citizens, safer schools, and healthier communities.
Lishai’ uses the power of the pen to connect, reflect and educate. She was raised in Europe and the Middle East, but is a daughter of India’s diaspora. She carries the rich tradition of storytelling that her grandmother gifted to her every time she steps to the stage. As part of her journey, she’s competed in national and international poetry slams, including representing Toronto at the Women of the World Poetry Slam, The Vancouver International Poetry Festival and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2011. In the same year she organized the first Canadian Underground Individual Slam Championship. She is a committee lead for the Caucus on Gender Issues with Spoken Word Canada (SpoCan) and a regular host at The Roots Lounge Poetry Slam in Toronto.
When she started her journey with spoken word a few years ago, she found out about UNITY Charity and got herself into the mix right away. UNITY has raised her up as an artist and given her tools to grow as an event planner, arts educator and coordinator. Through UNITY, she’s had the opportunity to work in classrooms in Toronto and Calgary, utilizing culturally sensitive, alternative education practices, while sharing and celebrating the culture of hip hop. Currently, she is the coordinator of UNIFFECT – a group of 20 young spoken word artists who are leaders in their communities and in the youth spoken word scene. She is also organizing Toronto’s first ever youth team slam, consisting of 10 different spoken word youth crews repping from all over Toronto. It all goes down on July 15th at Young People’s Theatre. More info and online advanced tickets at: http://www.unitycharity.com/festival.
After recently returning from a spoken word residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, she is setting her sights on a first spoken word album as well as the creation of a poetry comic book. Her work with UNITY will no doubt continue to help take her passion to the next level as she starts making preparations for the next generation of Uniffect and returning to the classrooms in the fall for UNITYs After School Program. For more information, please visit: www.unitycharity.com
You can check out Lishai’s website at www.lishai.ca.Tweet